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Grab your Kendra Scott jewelry, glitter skirts and Longchamp bags, because it’s that time of year again: University of Alabama sorority recruitment is officially upon us.
I don’t know about you, but I was totally fascinated by Bama Rush TikTok last year, and this year is shaping up to be no exception, with my For You Page already full of hopeful PNMs and seasoned sorority girls posting “What’s in my bag?” videos, OOTDs, and dances that would take me three weeks to master. Though our college years may be behind us, the TikTok algorithm will be force-feeding us rush content for the foreseeable future, so we might as well embrace it. I mean, this place (Tuscaloosa) has everything: a store called “The Pants Store” that sells way more than pants, fashion trends that make me feel 100 years old, and more drama than an episode of The Real Housewives.
While I’m not about to leave my house decked out in Shein, Golden Goose sneakers, and 14 pieces of “normal” jewelry, these ladies are prepared for anything, and they’ve shown us some genius everyday essentials to have on standby. Here are the invaluable product recommendations that the 18-year-olds on my FYP have imparted upon me.
Life Hack #1
Always carry a personal fan. You never know when you’ll need to keep your cool, and we’ve all shown up to a meeting just a *little* too sweaty from our commute.
Life Hack #2
De-slick setting spray can save your life (and more literally, save your makeup from melting).
Life Hack #3
Listerine tablets are your best friend, especially when you’re meeting lots of new people and need to make a great impression.
Life Hack #4
Liquid IV will keep you hydrated, along with an immune boost that comes in handy when interacting with so many different people.
Life Hack #5
The Gen Z girlies love a water bottle, so obviously you need one, too. Plus, we should all be cutting down on single-use plastics, and you’ll need something to mix your liquid IV in. It’s a win/win/win!
Life Hack #6
Statement jewelry does, indeed, make a statement. A customized bracelet is a great conversation starter, whether you’re at your third rush party of the day, or meeting your boyfriend’s sister for the first time.
Life Hack #7
Who doesn’t like smelling good? These perfume shots for your hair will keep you smelling fresh, and word on the street is that the cupcake scent is the best.
Life Hack #8
You can never have too many totes, and this durable neoprene one is perfect to carry all of your essentials, and then some. Did I mention it has pockets?
Life Hack #9
I know Hailey Bieber wants us to look like glazed donuts, but sometimes you just get a little too dewy. This oil control roller will fix that (and looks kind of fun to use, no?).
Life Hack #10
I’ll know I’m truly an adult when I actually remember to take an umbrella when I leave the house. This mini one fits easily in your tote bag (see above), and will save your hair/mood if you get caught in a storm.
Life Hack #11
Heels aren’t a girl’s best friend when you’re wearing them for 12 hours straight. Plan ahead and skip the blisters!
Life Hack #12
Spray deodorant doesn’t melt in the heat, and that’s a truly priceless quality. Stock up now.
Life Hack #13
You know these sorority girls aren’t making all those TikToks with one charge! Invest in a new portable charger so you’ll always be ready for content creation and/or basic life needs.
Life Hack #14
You need this resetting powder that doubles as sunscreen. Dewy skin, PLUS you’re protected from the elements—need we say more?
Image credit: Wesley Hitt / Stringer; Amazon
I don’t know how to tell you this. But I’m like, a teeny tiny bit of a hoarder. Not like Hoarders level bad, though. Probably. I am a total product junkie, especially if it’s special, glamorous, or seasonal. My tons and tons of bath products are all half-full (I’m ever the optimist), perfectly organized, but still probably an issue. I just feel like I have to try everything and I like to have a scent for every occasion. Which brings me to one of my favorite places to casually drop my rent money by accident: Lush. I’m so obsessed, in fact, that I actually had to start exploring creative ways to get more Lush. I’ve used their regular line products so many times that I wanted more. So for all of you, here are some of the best kept Lush secrets to make the most of your shopping at Lush.
If you have never shopped at Lush Kitchen, I’m sorry, you’re doing life wrong. The Kitchen is part of the UK store exclusively. It’s where they come up with all the Lush recipes and product ideas, and they release limited edition lines of products. The products are always amazing, in super high demand, and sell out almost immediately. I recommend following Lush Kitchen on Instagram or Twitter (@lushkitchen) so you’ll know when a new release is coming.
Products can be anything from totally brand-new stuff to old seasonal favorites to new creations using the same scent as popular products. For example, in my most recent Kitchen haul, I got a Lord of Misrule body lotion and an American Cream body lotion. Lord of Misrule is usually a shower cream that is only available around Halloween, and American Cream is the most heavenly smelling hair conditioner ever. I also ordered 10 other things I didn’t need. I have no regrets.
The only downside from shopping at Lush Kitchen is that you do have to pay for shipping from the UK. But again, you literally can’t get these products otherwise. Shipping is something like £7.99. I don’t know what that is in dollars, look it up. If you total up your cart and the shipping is like, £40, it means you’re ordering too much weight-wise, so it has to go to the more expensive shipping. To circumvent this, just divide your order up so you’ll only pay the £7 on each. #Math. However, if you’re only getting a couple of things from the Kitchen, check out the regular UK store (on the same website). They always get products before we do in the US and their product sizes are usually way bigger. Lush USA just recently started selling products in the XL size that the UK has had for years. What a scam.
Seasonal products are the best at Lush. The best holidays to shop for seasonal products are Halloween, Christmas (obviously), and weirdly enough, Mother’s Day. Just a couple tips: If you want anything seasonal, buy what you have to have online literally the day it’s released. Lush products always are available online about a week before they’re in stores. All these products are also limited edition, so once they sell out, they’re gone for good. One Halloween, they sold out of everything I wanted before it was even October, and tantrums were thrown. You can always return items if you hate the scent once you get them, but at least you don’t miss out on trying it. This is especially true for Christmas products. Don’t wait until it’s December to buy; all the best stuff will be gone. By the way, Halloween is already on their website. In case you were thinking of procrastinating, don’t.
Speaking of Christmas, both in stores and online starting the day after Christmas, all holiday products are 50% off. One year, I went online and I bought one of every gift package they had left, and I had Santa-themed baths until July. Shopping at Lush in the store is not recommended because are f*cking psycho, so avoid them and shop online. The only caveat to shopping online is you have to be super fast. I mean like, at 12am on December 26th, you better be checking out on their website fast. The best products will have sold out long ago, but you can still get decent bath bombs. They also always have Snow Fairy left because it smells like someone smacked you in the face with a sugar plum fairy. Not in a good way. Is there a good way to do that?
Lush will give you samples of literally any and everything. They will even cut off tiny slivers of solid soap. Whenever you do make it into the store, stock up on whatever they will give you. Some of their moisturizers are pretty expensive, so get some of those. I’m not sure why, but anyone who works at a Lush store behaves as if they snorted bath bomb-scented cocaine. They are all so enthusiastic about showing you the new products and watching bath bombs fizzle out in their little tubs. It’s super unsettling. But whatever. Just act very, very interested and walk away with tons of free sh*t.
Free Face Masks
They put little sticker notices about this on all of their labels, and yet somehow I still see people paying for fresh face masks. Never, ever pay for these, people. They are free if you bring in five empty containers. Lush is basically trying to force you to recycle via bribery, and I’m here for it. I keep a bag under my sink that I toss all my empty Lush bottles in and when I need a new mask, I collect from it. Okay, that makes me sound like a hoarder again, but at least there’s a reason for it. You can thank me for your flawless skin later.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (2)
By now, you may have heard of all the natural remedies for random shit floating around out there. Use coconut oil for your body odor! Use baking soda for your shampoo! Try Listerine to clean literally everything! Because you aren’t a hippie, there really is no need for these peasant remedies, but one has gotten our attention by way of actually fucking working: apple cider vinegar.
We know what you’re thinking, “ew, I don’t want to smell like a salad.” But what if smelling like a salad could help you with your disgusting zits, your split ends, your dog’s ability to fuck up all your shoes … ? Read on for more non-cooking-related uses for apple cider vinegar.
1. Your Skin
It may surprise you to know that a little apple cider vinegar in your facial routine could seriously improve your life. We tried it as a toner and it made a difference after one goddamn day. Because of the lactic and malic acids in the vinegar, your skin will be softer, more exfoliated, and more balanced. Mix about 2 tbsps of vinegar with one cup of water and apply to skin with a clean cotton ball no more than twice per week. But first, test out a small area to make sure it doesn’t make things worse. If you have sensitive skin, we definitely don’t recommend this route.
2. Your Metabolism
Do you have a carb problem? Good news: Apple cider vinegar can help crush your bad habit. The enzymes in your stomach can’t completely digest starch in the presence of acetic acid, which is in apple cider vinegar. When you can’t digest the starch, you can’t add the calories to your waistline. Additionally, the acetic acid can help suppress your appetite and reduce water retention. We don’t have a ton of scientific data for the claims (there have been studies and there HAS been some proof that all these things are true), but don’t expect to drop 20 pounds just by adding vinegar to your diet. At most, it’ll help you keep off an extra pound or two while you continue to diet and exercise.
3. Your Feet
Yes, it will help if you insisted on wearing those heels that totally don’t breathe. The ones where, as soon as you take them off, it smells like a small, furry animal may have died under the floor. Grab a washcloth or paper towel, dip it in diluted apple cider vinegar (generally you want one cup of water for every 2 tbsps apple cider vinegar) and rub those foul beasts down.
4. Your Hair
Have a dandruff problem? That’s gross, but we understand. Apple cider vinegar can help. Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray on your scalp about twice per week. Place a towel on your head and leave for about an hour, then wash your hair normally. If you don’t have dandruff, you can also use 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar mixed with 4 cups of water to rinse your hair of excess product buildup. Just use after shampooing, then rinse.
5. Your Dog’s Chewing Habit
If your dog won’t stop fucking chewing your expensive shoes, it’s time to go the apple cider vinegar route. Grab a spray bottle and mix together two parts apple cider vinegar, one part white vinegar, and half a part of lemon juice. Spray on things Fido finds delicious but like, aren’t meant to be delicious. Hw won’t chew shit after he gets a mouthful of that.
Images: Giphy (2)
Unless you want to spend your life as a greasy, acne-ridden monster, skin care is an essential evil for all of us. Skin care takes a fuck ton of time and is expensive AF, but there are cheap skin care products that get the job done quick and make your skin look flawless, so you don’t have to waste even more money buying concealer. Blessings. The best part is you might already be using some of these products for other areas of your body and/or you might have this shit lying around your apartment to begin with. Anyway, these cheap skin care products just might save your life.
1. Coconut Oil
365 Everyday Value Organic Coconut Oil
I normally really hate anything that hipsters love, avocado toast and anything gluten-free included. But sometimes the hipsters are fucking right: the cure for absolutely everything is coconut oil. You can use it as a hair mask, to flatten flyaway hairs, you can eat it, it’s healthier than EVOO for cooking, and it’s the best multi-use yet cheap skin care product. Use it to take your makeup off, moisturize your skin in or after the shower, put a little into your bath and use it as shaving cream. But if you put this on your face, remember to wash it off—especially if you’re acne-prone. I don’t want any comments complaining that you left oil on your face and broke out. I am not responsible for that kind of stupidity.
2. Micellar Water
Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water
Picture it: you’re getting home at 3am. You’re drunk and tired AF. You had four vodka sodas. Okay, seven. No more than nine for sure. You need to get your ass to bed before you start spinning. There is no fucking way you’re taking your makeup off. EXCEPT THEN you remember you have micellar water which is the best thing ever, because it gets your makeup off super easily (even waterproof makeup), tones your skin, and moisturizes it. Just pour it on a washcloth and wipe your face down and you’re good to go. Don’t sleep in your makeup. It’s fucking gross and gives you wrinkles. Just promise, okay?
3. Exfoliating Gloves
Aquasentials Exfoliating Bath Gloves
Finding these gloves is one of my PROUDEST accomplishments. Put any soap or body wash on them and scrub your skin. They will make you feel like a flawless and silky baby. Plus, exfoliating before shaving reduces your risk of razor burn or ingrown hairs. These gloves work better than any expensive scrub and are reusable until they literally fall apart. And they’re basically the definition of cheap skin care shit.
4. Acne Absorbers
Nexcare Acne Cover
These things are the BEST. I bought more while looking for an image for this article because that is how much I love them. You put one of these patches on any pimple for 8 hours. The patch absorbs everything in the pimple without breaking the skin. Plus, having it covered keeps you from picking it, if you’re revolting and into that sort of thing. They are also so fucking gross, because you can see everything that came out of your pores, and it’s really satisfying. They make any zit totally flat so it’s easier to conceal. You get 36 in this set, and it doesn’t dry out or otherwise fuck up your skin. It’s cheaper skin care than any acne cream out there.
5. Epsom Salt
Epsoak Epsom Salt
This is like a grandma kind of cure-all but, like the hipsters, Grandma sometimes knows what’s up. Epsom salt can be used for exfoliating, reducing pain, rashes, and redness, decreasing inflammation of any kind, and curing acne (especially if you’re prone to backne or assne—yes I’m sorry but it is a thing for some people). You can use it in the shower or bath, or if you want a really rough scrub, use it dry before you get into the shower. Put it in the bath for your very own spa-quality salt bath.
6. Cortisone Cream
Cortizone-10 Max Strength Cortizone-10 Cream
Cortisone can be used for any itching, swelling, or redness. It’s normally used for bug bites and rashes. If you have a giant pimple or cyst, a dermatologist might inject it with cortisone and it’ll usually go down within 24 hours. The shot is like $60 every fucking time, though, and the cortizone cream you can get at the drugstore is basically the same thing (except it’s not as strong, duh). Just put it on your pimple and within a day or two, it’ll be gone. You can also use it to heal ingrown hairs or anything else swollen, like bags under your eyes.
7. Alum Spice
This is actually an old-school barbershop secret, and I’m furious that it took me so long in life to discover it. Alum is a spice. You can find it in the spice aisle of your grocery store. It’s used for like, making pickles, or something. Or you can buy it in a block from a shaving specialty store, where they will charge you like, $10 more. Alum constricts blood vessels, so it’s used to stop bleeding, like if the barber hacks half your face off. Does that happen? It seems like it would happen. I saw Sweeney Todd.
You can use it for any cut, redness, swelling, or soreness. So like, if you cut the shit out of your knee shaving again and it won’t stop bleeding and you’re already late Af and were planning on wearing a white dress, don’t panic. Just use some alum and water to make a paste, put it on, cry like a bitch because it hurts like a motherfucker, and wipe it off a couple minutes later. It instantly stops the bleeding and will make it less red. It also works if you popped a pimple and it’s oozing and bleeding and you need to put concealer on it NOW. It will close it and take the redness out. It works so well, you may not even need the concealer. You can also put it on canker sores, ingrown hairs or nails, etc. Just don’t swallow it, it is a *bit* toxic.
Images: Amazon (7)
Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link in this article and buy a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.
For as long as literally anyone can remember, there have been claims that apple cider vinegar, the shit I use in my salad dressing, can help you lose weight. Because I’ve learned that I shouldn’t believe everything I read on the internet—no matter how hilarious or shocking it may seem—I did a deep investigatory dive on this shit. Yah, it’d be great to have this shit on the shelf as a miracle cure, but we all know dreams are made to be smashed. Will apple cider vinegar (ACV) help me lose weight, and if not, will it do other cool things to make me prettier, healthier, and overall a better person? Let’s find out.
THE SKETCHY TRUTH
So, like, according to the internet and my investigatory skills, this shit is a gray area. There was a study where mice given apple cider vinegar (ACV) lost weight because it suppressed body fat accumulation and metabolic disorders. But like, if I was super chubby and drank exclusively vinegar and water, I’m quite certain I’d lose weight, too. There haven’t been many studies on people, so like, depending how closely you think mice and people are related, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. There WAS a study on people done in 2009 where a bunch of fat Japanese people were split into groups and given either two tablespoons of vinegar, half vinegar and half water, or all water. Over three months, APPARENTLY those who had more vinegar had a lower body weight and lower BMI, but all in all, they only lost like 2-4 pounds, which I can do if I eat a lot of fiber and drink a lot of coffee. So, as far as my investigatory skills are concerned, whether or not there’s clinical proof ACV can help you lose weight is a toss-up. There are, of course, OTHER benefits, though.
THE GOOD SHIT IT CAN DO
Because ACV is literally acetic acid, there are obv some benefits to adding this shit to your diet. First, it can regulate your blood sugar, which is super helpful if, like me, you enjoy cookies as a meal. Secondly, it can help to control your appetite, but so can water when I chug a shitload of it (just saying). Third, it CAN help you lose some weight by boosting metabolism, but it may take a few months to show. The way we see it: It can’t HURT to work it into your diet. And hey—if you don’t want to drink it, incorporate that shit into an Amazon Clay Mask since it’s AMAZING for your skin.
HOW YOU SHOULD USE THIS SHIT
So, moral of the story: Yes, it may help you lose a few pounds by revving your metabolism, but it def isn’t going to be utilized by Dr. Now on My 600-lb Life. Since this shit is so strong, you should not drink it straight EVER. That means taking that shot of ACV can actually cause more damage (in the way of ulcers and sores on your mouth) than good. If you want to mix it into your diet, add that shit to a smoothie, use it as salad dressing, or mix 1 TEASPOON with a FULL glass of water.
Day drinking and going out at night are two activities that betches excel at compared to most, but even we’ll admit that doing both within the same 24 hour period is a daunting task. You start out the day with a few mimosas, maybe some wine and it feels all too natural with your hearty breakfast of ¼ of a scooped out bagel. The day is full of possibility, and by 4 P.M. you’re wasted and invincible. “We’re definitely making it out tonight!” says the entire group as everyone plots possible options, only to start falling apart within mere minutes. If you truly want to be one of the few still standing by the end of the night, you need to follow our advice:
Decide Early On That You’re Going Out, And Never Look Back.
In order for all of this to work, the golden rule is to commit to the fact that you’re embarking on a twelve-hour drinking bender and never question it at any point in time. Especially as the day goes on and your liver hates you more and more, you can’t so much as entertain the idea that staying in is an option, which is the immediate gateway to face-planting into your bed.
Stay Consistently Drunk.
This is difficult, but another essential for transitioning from day into nighttime drinking. The problem is that if you get too drunk before 5 P.M., you severely up the chances of getting sent home (unless you make the rare and impressive blackout comeback which will earn you literal cheers from anyone who’s crossed your path). On the other hand, if you get too sober at any point, you’ll start to get hungover, and TBH that’s significantly worse. Maintaining a mid-level buzz is the only way to make it through.
Don’t Nap, Or Even Sit Down For Too Long.
Despite your vodka-induced enthusiasm and desire for a “quick, twenty-minute power nap” in the middle of the day, we all know where that road ends. It’s you waking up at 4 A.M. covered in Cheetos and wondering what year it is, with 72 missed iMessages from everyone else having a blast at the club. Avoid this easy trap, because you know full well that once your eyes close they are not opening for a v v v long time.
If You Have To Go Home, Bring Friends With You. And Not Boring ones.
While we are banning naps on this list, we do understand that you may need to go home throughout the day, i.e. to change your outfit, pregame, etc. That’s acceptable as long as you’re accompanied by friends who will prevent you from napping (see above). It’s also extremely important that you don’t include any downers at this stage who will plant the seed of calling it quits at that point and potentially drag you down with them.
Eat, But Like Not That Much.
If you’re going to maintain a steady intake of alcohol for the entire time you’re awake, you should probs incorporate some solids into that mix as well. That being said, eating an entire pizza is going to take a lot out of you physically, emotionally and spiritually, and it will be very hard to bounce back from that.
Have Fun Fucking Plans.
This one cannot be understated. A lame house party or even a bar with too many fugly people isn’t going to sustain you for five minutes after a solid afternoon of dartying, nor should it. Don’t be afraid to change locations until you find a solid venue, since that will also prevent you from sinking into the nearest chair/ couch/ floor. Like this whole endeavor, it’s all about endurance and ignoring multiple red flags from your body in the name of a good time, which we truly believe you are all capable of.
No one ever intends for it to happen. You’re out to dinner with friends, someone mentions an acquaintance’s house party and 3 tequila shots later you find yourself somewhere you never thought you’d be: a hipster’s living room. It’s not just the faint smell of pot or even the stack of vinyl records piled in the corner that gives it away; it’s the dingy window sills and overall lack of cleanliness that confirm your location. It feels more like a commune than a house with the 2-day old pizza and bags of weed out for everyone to enjoy, bathrooms lacking doors but overcompensating with incense, and home-brewed kombucha jugs lining the kitchen counters. There are no framed pictures of important events: birthdays, girls nights, nothing. What does fill the lackluster walls are homemade signs (“keep the damn door closed”) and 5”x7” prints of paintings no one outside their circle would recognize.
Now that you’ve taken in what is around you, it’s time to figure out who is around you. Hipsters are kind of like vampires in the sense that they only come out at night and are pale AF. Seeing them in their natural habitat can be both frightening and unsettling. First of all, you realize that you are the only one within sight whose outfit did not come from a garage sale. Your Tory Burch riding boots might as well be a neon sign reading “basic bitch.” The only similarity between the smorgasbord of mismatched outfits around you is the fact that none of them are worn with bras. Apparently saggy tits are in this year. Other than that, the styles range from 90’s grunge to flapper girl. Denim jackets, suspenders, crop tops, the shoes Louisa May Alcott wore, and velvet for days. You are also quick to realize that you are the only one with perfect vision (because all these bitches have glasses) and you seem to be the only one wearing any form of foundation/tinted moisturizer… the time hipsters put into their lipstick must be to blame for the neglect shown towards their shiny foreheads.
Pretty soon your perfect outfit, perky boobs and flawless complexion will draw the attention of the hipsters around you. They may be super high, but they can sniff out mainstream-ness in any level of consciousness. Should you run? Sudden movements will only make them paranoid. Plus, your ride home is somewhere in this house so you have no choice but to accept that you’re balls deep in hipster town. Your survival instincts will start to kick in. First, search the house for converse and oversized sweatshirts; there’s bound to be some that fit you somewhere. Run your hands all through your hair so it gets oily and stringy and pull it into a messy braid. Use whatever you can find to alter your appearance. Hats are always a good idea. Whatever you do, keep your bra on. Your Victoria’s Secret push-up is the only thing keeping you from losing your dignity.
Next, find alcohol. If all you find is an empty gin bottle (of course they’d only have fucking gin), find the closest gas station. It won’t be more than a 2 minute walk, guaranteed. For being such avid fans of growing their own food and being all natural and shit, hipsters can always be counted on to live within walking distance of modern conveniences so they can buy cigarettes and take advantage of public transportation. Once you’re there, buy something big because it has to last you the next few hours. I recommend a bottle of your favorite wine or better yet, champagne. If there was ever a time to drink champagne out of the bottle, now would be the time.
When you get back to the house, you will most likely find yourself forced into a conversation you don’t understand or care about. Mumbling things like “the 1 percent”, “farm-to-table” or even just nodding will keep you in the convo for as long as you need to be. This could also be a great time to catch up on any sleep. Hipsters may judge a bitch for being put together and having exceptional taste in makeup, clothes, etc, but they have no problem with coked-out weirdos falling asleep on their bathroom floor. So, find a couch that looks asbestos-free and sleep off this whole nightmare.
If you should choose to stay semi-conscious during the next few hours, you’re going to have to be smart. You may find yourself tempted to dabble in the hipsters’ drugs as they start bringing out the cocaine and various pills. Taking advantage of free drugs may be fun among friends, but these people are definitely not your friends. Yes, you need to numb yourself to the fact that you are surrounded by the underbelly of society with no way out, but you can’t completely lose your inhibitions. Do you want to wake up tomorrow wrapped in the soft arms of a mustachioed mixologist? Fuck that. Talk about sleeping with the enemy…
As more and more people either start passing out or heading to another location (probably a bar too “hip” to have a name), you will most likely be able to sort through the sea of hipsters to find your (asshole) friend who brought you here and GTFO. If her eyes are glazed over and she’s using words like “typography” or is raving about the IPA she just drank, no worries. It’ll wear off soon.
When you get home, shower (really scrubbing may be necessary), check for new tattoos (real or temporary), take three Advil PM’s, download every episode of The Hills, and fall asleep to the soothing sound of Lauren Conrad’s voice. You’ll wake up refreshed, rejuvenated and last night’s events will be nothing more than a distant memory.